New Delhi: A 47-year-old autorickshaw driver was on Wednesday arrested here for allegedly stealing five autorickshaws and leasing them out under the same registration number.
The accused, identified as Dinesh Mehta, a resident of Mohan Garden in Uttam Nagar, was arrested on Monday by the Crime Branch with five autorickshaws having been recovered from him.
The vehicles were stolen from Prashant Vihar and Kanjhawala in Outer district and in the Saket and Vasant Kunj areas of south Delhi, police said.
"He had stolen the vehicles from different parts of Delhi and was running them on the basis of photocopies of other stolen ownership documents," said Joint Commissioner of Police (Crime), Ravindra Yadav.
Police received specific inputs that a man involved in stealing autos and running them on fake papers would be coming near Dwarka Mor following which a trap was laid and an auto moving near that spot apprehended, he said.
"He (auto-driver) was asked to produce ownership papers and the permit for the vehicle he was driving. He produced a set of photocopied documents and said that the originals had been deposited in traffic challans," said Yadav.
The team which had apprehended him then sighted near the spot another auto bearing the same registration number as that of his vehicle. Asked how two autos had the same registration number, tha accused initially tried to feign ignorance, but later confessed that he had stolen the two along with three other autos.
He said he he had leased the vehicles -- which bear the same registration details -- to other drivers.
Later, three other autos were recovered at his instance which had the same registration number and the same set of photocopied registration and permit documents.
Mehta, who has been placed under arrest with further inquiries being made in the case, disclosed that he came to know that while checking, the engine and chassis numbers were hardly ever matched with the registration documents.
He noticed some autos bearing identical registration numbers running in unauthorised colonies like Sangam Vihar, and near Uttam Nagar. He approached the driver of one such auto who told him that many such vehicles were ones which had been stolen from Delhi or Uttar Pradesh.
He also learnt that several such autos bore registration numbers of vehicles which were declared unfit by the transport authority and whose permits had been suspended. They would be run using photocopies of the autos declared unfit.